First, the news:
Nate Johnson was everything he was advertised to be, coming in from Gardner-Webb as a graduate transfer. He was a knockdown shooter, unquestionably Xavier's best on the year, and an excellent perimeter defender. He led the Muskies with 42 made threes, more than any two of his teammates combined. He was third on the team in scoring with 11.4 PPG.
Now Xavier turns to a must-win game in just over two hours shorn of one of their best offensive players. Already struggling to shoot - the Muskies are 11th in the Big East at 29.4% shooting from behind the arc - X is going to have to figure out a way to cobble together some offense.
During the press conference on Thursday, Coach Steele mentioned that this could be the time for another scorer like Kyky Tandy or CJ Wilcher to step into the gap, or it could be the time for someone to demonstrate that they can play enough defense to make up for Xavier's lack of offensive firepower.
The breaks are, at this point, beating the boys. Xavier is out of time to figure this out. The adjustment needs to be made immediately, or X will again be watching the NCAA tournament from home.